The back page of this morning's NY Post declares,"Amazin':Execs:Mets likely to land Zito" with the "A" the insignia of the Oakland A's. The fine print reads,".....according to an informal exit poll of baseball executives..."
In the article, Joel Sherman explains that the exit poll consisted of 8 executives, five of which predicted Zito would end-up pitching in Queens.
The other three pollees answered the Rangers, Angels and Yankees.
The execs choose the Mets or the Yankees despite both clubs' own officals stating their positions to the contrary. The Mets like him at Oswalt money (I like Oswalt as Oswalt money!), and the Yanks assessing Zito as a lesser pitcher than Oswalt. (No matter how I criticize the Yanks decisions, I cannot disagree at all with their thinking.)
I'd have said, "The Mets were willing to lay out $38MM or so in cash for the right to negotiate with Scott Boras for Japanese stud, Daisuke Matzusaka.
While Boras won't allow the Red Sox to capitalize their actual $51.11MM fee, the Mets can view their rejected $38MM cash fee as found money and capitalize it towards an $85MM offer, a de facto $47MM contract.
And at $47MM for five or six years, Zito is a bargain.
If Boras drives a harder bargain, then give Zito a five-year deal for that same "$47 MM" and emphasize that Zito would hit the free agent market again at 33.
Look how well it's worked out for Johnny Damon by signing shorter contracts. Four years/$32MM and then four years later, another $52MM over four years with Damon hitting the market again at 36 year-old."
Of course, once Scott Boras read that he'd ask for a "de facto" $75MM contract which would be a $113MM (de facto plus $38MM) total outlay over its length for the Mets.